On Tuesday 8th March 2022, Gisburn Indoor Athletics Team, became Ribble Valley Area Indoor Athletics Squad.
After success in the previous round (in December), Gisburn were now to represent their area –Ribble Valley- in the Lancashire School Games Competition at Blackpool. Eagerly, children had an early start to make the competition Lucy said: ‘I could barely sleep all night, then I was up at the crack of dawn, ready to rumble.’ After making their way to Stanley Park, Blackpool, children were greeted by their incredible, sagacious and witty teacher, Mr Shepherd.
After familiarising themselves with the sports hall and the events, the children (Saul, Fin, Koby, Daniel, Barny, Annabel, Lucy, Aimee, Billie, Ella and Neve) waited for the first event to begin: the obstacle relay. Teams had to run through a foot trap, complete 10 speed bounces, leap over two hurdles and complete an out-and-back of the sports hall. Once complete, the next member of the team received the baton and ran the same course. The girls’ team was first to compete and were quickly made aware of the quality of the other schools in the competition, as they ran home in a respectable 2nd place in their heat. Interestingly, the boys’ obstacle relay team found themselves ahead of the competition, as they put in a blistering performance and won their heat in.
In the next race, children had to complete 1 shuttle of the sports hall before passing the baton to their team mate, who then did the same. Benji went out hard and gave Lewis a great opportunity to get the first win on the board. As Lewis made his final turn, he stumbled off the wall and just managed to keep upright but it meant the boys came home in second place. Once again, the girls’ pair, consisting of Imogen and Eloise, blew the other racers away with their incredible pace! Imogen went out first allowing Eloise to rumble across the finish line, claiming another win for the team.
At this point, the field events commenced. It was important that the team stayed focus whilst eventing and performed to the best of their ability. Koby, Fin, Saul, Aimee, Ella, Billie and Annabel performed incredible in the jumping events. Additionally, Lucy, Neve, Dan and Barnaby were magnificent in their throwing events.
All of this meant that the children were near the top of the competition table; however, all the competitors were unaware of the performances of their rivals. There was an air of optimism as the children sat like coiled springs ready to explode into their given track event. First out of the traps was Annabel and Lucy who put on a dazzling display in the two by one relay and won their heat. Inspired by their team mates, Saul and Fin put on the same sort of display which left the spectators with their mouths opening and closing like goldfish!
An area of the competition that is known to be a particular difficulty to the team was next- foam Javelin. A difficult skill to master but we had the Ella, Neve, Dan, and Barny who some might say relished the challenge. All of the children really did pull it out of the bag and produce the best throws of their lives. These exceptional performances really did keep the Ribble Valley Team from Gisburn in the hunt for first place in the competition.
The final event on the track was the 4 by 1-shuttle relay. With spirits high, the girls’ team went first. All teams in this race were close from start to finish, with positions changing continuously. As the fourth legs of each relay team came in, Gisburn had achieved 1st place, which for the standard of the race was an excellent result! Finally, the boys wrapped up the competition in emphatic style: leading their race from the off, the boys seemed to go from strength to strength winning yet another event. One spectator had come over to congratulate Gisburn saying that it was one of the best performances he had seen in years and that all of the children represented the school admirably.
All that was left was the presentation of the scores. Gisburn waited nervously as some of the results were read out. After an anxious wait, Gisburn were announced as second place of the small schools competition (having missed out on the overall victory by a marginal fraction).
Thank you for all the support of parents and grandparents; hopefully Gisburn can go one step further next year in the competition.